More cash starts to flow in 2024 governor’s race

Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz for the first time reported how much in donations her campaign has collected so far.

By: - June 12, 2023 5:47 pm

The Washington state governor’s mansion. (Joe Mabel/Creative Commons)

Hilary Franz, Democratic public lands commissioner, on Monday revealed a first round of campaign donations in her run for governor. A filing with the state Public Disclosure Commission shows she raised about $176,000 in her first month of campaigning.

Franz’s May contributions include at least $5,000 in “surplus” transfers – contributions received for previous campaigns and moved over to the current one. 

Shellfish farmers, lumber company executives, a Microsoft engineer, a San Juan County councilor and the Nisqually Tribe are all among the largest donors so far.

Even though Franz has some cash rolling in, the road to the primary next August is likely to be a tough one. She joins two other Democrats – Attorney General Bob Ferguson and state Sen. Mark Mullet – in what is becoming a crowded 2024 field to replace Gov. Jay Inslee, who is not running for reelection. 

By far the largest fundraiser so far in the race is Ferguson, who has yet to even officially say he’s running.

During May, Ferguson’s campaign raised about $2.2 million, though $1.2 million was transferred from a surplus contribution account. In total, Ferguson’s “exploratory” gubernatorial campaign has raised about $2.4 million. 

Attorneys, nurses, business owners, the Suquamish Indian Tribe, a number of state and local elected officials and political action committees for two unions –  Service Employees International Union Healthcare 1199NW and United Food and Commercial Workers 3000 – make up some of the largest donations in the last month.

Mullet, who formally announced his candidacy June 1, said he did not do any fundraising in May. 

Republicans in the race have also started raising money. 

Raul Garcia, a Yakima emergency medicine physician, has raised more than $45,000 since filing last month. Semi Bird, a Richland School Board member and military veteran, has raised more than $88,000 since launching his campaign last fall, including almost $27,200 last month. 

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Laurel Demkovich
Laurel Demkovich

Laurel joined States Newsroom in 2023 after almost three years as a statehouse reporter for the Spokesman-Review. She covers state government, the Legislature and all other Olympia news.